National Basketball Association
Kansas 66, Providence 61
When: 7:29 PM ET, Friday, March 25, 2022
Where: United Center, Chicago, Illinois
Officials: # John Gaffney, # Keith Kimble, # Ray Natili
Attendance: N/A

CHICAGO -- Plod. Knock. Jayhawk.

Locked in a defensive slog for the second straight NCAA Tournament game, top-seeded Kansas prevailed, then exhaled.

Remy Martin scored a game-high 23 points, Jalen Wilson added 16 points and 11 rebounds and Kansas harassed fourth-seeded Providence en route to a 66-61 victory in an NCAA Tournament Midwest regional semifinal on Friday.

Kansas (31-6) advances to meet 10th-seeded Miami (26-10) after the Hurricanes took down 11th-seeded Iowa State 70-56 in Friday's second semifinal. The teams will battle in the regional final on Sunday afternoon. The victory was No. 2,534 in Kansas program history, snapping a tie with Kentucky for the most in college basketball.

Providence (27-6) trailed by 13 points with 14:53 to go but used a 21-8 run to tie the game before taking its first lead at 48-47 on a Noah Horchler layup with 5:49 remaining.

The Jayhawks responded with a 7-0 run to regain control, holding off the Friars to move on to the school's first Elite Eight since 2018.

"I saw how excited (the Friars) were getting. They started to talk a little bit," Wilson said. "I'm so confident in me and my team that I know that that fuels us just as much. And plus we never get rattled. ... We've seen every single type of game and situation. I'm just confident whatever comes our way."

Al Durham paced Providence with 21 points to go with seven rebounds, while Horchler contributed 10 points and eight boards.

Acknowledging the frustration in seeing the season end, Providence coach Ed Cooley still was quick to praise his team's character and resilience.

"It's tough. This is the most connected group I've been around," Cooley said. "It's a special, special, special group."

"I'm not going to let our men's heads be down. This was one [heck] of a season ... I'm not going to let this one loss define the type of season that we had," Cooley added.

The Friars shot 48.5 percent in the second half but 33.8 percent for the game. Kansas finished at 39.3 percent from the floor, including 2-for-14 from 3-point range, while boasting a 43-38 rebounding edge.

Ochai Agbaji, a Naismith Player of the Year finalist, scored just five points for Kansas but blocked four shots, matching Mitch Lightfoot for the team lead in blocks.

Kansas went into the locker room with a 26-17 halftime lead, overcoming 35.3 percent shooting by forcing the Friars into a 20 percent showing from the field, including 1-for-13 from long range. It was Providence's lowest-scoring half in an NCAA Tournament game and the program's lowest-scoring half, period, since 1966.

Providence missed its first 11 3-pointers before Durham nailed one with 1:55 remaining before halftime. The Jayhawks managed just four points over the last 4 1/2 minutes of the half.

While the Jayhawks were just 2-for-10 from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes, they created distance behind the latest star turn from Martin. With the rest of his teammates shooting 6-for-25 in the first half, the former Arizona State point guard was 6-for-9 and scored 13 points.

--Kevin Druley, Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Providence   Kansas
Aljami Durham 21 Scoring Remy Martin 23
Aljami Durham 4 Assists Remy Martin 3
Noah Horchler 8 Rebounds Jalen Wilson 11
Aljami Durham 4 Free Throws Made Remy Martin 8
Aljami Durham 1 Steals Ochai Agbaji 2
Noah Horchler 1 Blocks Ochai Agbaji 4
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Providence 61 33.8 4-23 11-16 10 32 4 4 7
Kansas 66 39.3 2-15 20-28 7 36 11 3 10